Unions representing detectives and senior Boston Police Department officers are suing the city for its restriction on less-than-lethal force, such as chemical sprays and rubber bullets, and are asking a judge to rule on the validity of the charges. past ordinances which the unions allege the city violates.
The Boston Federation of Senior Police Officers and the Boston Police Detectives Benevolent Society filed a lawsuit Monday in Suffolk Superior Court, court records show. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, City Council Speaker Ed Flynn and Boston Police Chief Superintendent Gregory Long are listed as defendants.
A message sent to Wu’s office late Monday evening was not immediately returned.
The city’s ordinance on the use of such measures was introduced following the summer 2020 protests against police use of force and was passed by city council and signed by the former mayor acting Kim Janey in April 2021.
In the lawsuit, the unions argue that other ordinances passed by the city council long ago involving the police department have not been enforced for decades.
Among the ordinances cited in the lawsuit is a regulation passed in the late 1970s that required the police department to have no fewer than 2,500 sworn officers, but the department currently has fewer than 2,000 members on the force, according to the trial.
Another order requires all marked and unmarked police vehicles to be staffed with two police officers around the clock, and another requires that each cruiser be equipped with a shotgun and rifle carrier, the lawsuit says. . Unions claim that none of these rules are currently enforced.
The lawsuit also seeks a judge’s ruling on the validity of the city’s Office of Police Accountability and Transparency. The office was established in December 2020 and allows people with complaints against police officers to appeal if the police department’s internal affairs unit determines the complaint is unfounded.